A woman visiting an inmate at a privately-run Tennessee prison said guards forced her to expose her genitals to prove she was menstruating, when she tried to take a sanitary napkin into the facility, according to a lawsuit.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, claims her constitutional rights were violated when – after clearing one security checkpoint – guards noticed the sanitary napkin sticking out her pocket. A guard asked about the “feminine sanitary napkin” in her pocket, and the woman said she needed it because she was menstruating.
Afterwards, the guard insisted she be searched to prove she was menstruating. The woman offered to leave the prison or leave the pad behind. She even offered to show the guards her used menstrual pad. However, they insisted she had to be searched, or she would have forfeit visiting the prison again.
The woman says she was instructed to go into a bathroom stall, drop her pants and underwear, and allow a female officer to inspect her genitalia.
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